The majority leader of the house of representatives, Alhassan Doguwa, has said that he has reason to suspect that President Muhammadu Buhari has been misled.
He said Buhari was “misled” into agreeing to the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Doguwa, in an interview with Channels Television on Monday, said the reasons given for the policy at this time are not satisfactory.
In October 2022, Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, announced the plan to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.
Emefiele had asked Nigerians to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023, when they would cease to be legal tender.
The deadline sparked controversies as Nigerians could not access new notes, and on Sunday, the CBN announced that the president had approved the extension of the deadline for the phase-out of the old naira notes.
Speaking on the development, Doguwa said the 10-day extension is “inconsequential” and a “mere gimmick” of the CBN governor.
“Taking this process as this moment is not only detrimental to the economy of the country, it will be detrimental to the security of the nation and the forthcoming elections,” the lawmaker said.
“Why at this time? Except if they have other peculiar reasons. For someone who wanted to be president and wanted to even purchase form for nomination and did not get it, I won’t be surprised if the CBN governor is not trying to get a second chance to undermine or scuttle the process of election. This is quite possible.
“This is my personal suspicion. I believe that a good number of my party members have this suspicion – justifiable.
“Every reasonable Nigerian can come up with this analysis that why engaging in redesigning of the naira when you have less than 30 days to the election.
“It is political. It is not even about our presidential candidate. It is about the entirety of those running elections in the APC as a ruling party.
“Perhaps when the president is presented with misleading briefing that is not quite express to even understand the implications therein, then, definitely, the president is bound to act in wrong direction. That is my suspicion and that is my own understanding.
“It goes to confirm that if the president was actually briefed initially of the implications and outcome of the naira redesign, he won’t have come out again to say let us extend it by 10 days.”
In May 2022, three support groups purchased the APC presidential nomination and expression of interest forms for Emefiele — a development that stirred public outcry.
The CBN governor equally asked the court to declare him eligible to participate in the 2023 presidential election.
However, Emefiele was not on the ballot during the APC presidential primary.